Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

The Chinese have a whole range of sweet soups. Known as tong sui in Cantonese, these soups are usually served at the end of a meal. They are light and refreshing making them wonderful low fat summer desserts. Most are served warm but some are delicious chilled.

Mung beans, also known as green beans are small cylindrical beans with a bright green color. They can be used whole, split, or hulled. Whole beans are usually boiled. They are also germinated to produce bean sprouts. Split and hulled mung beans are light yellow in color and often made into a paste for pancakes or filling. Mung bean starch is extracted to make transparent cellophane noodles, also known as bean threads or glass noodles.

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup is considered cooling and is very easy to prepare. They cook a little faster than red or adzuki beans. The addition of pandan leaves, sago, and coconut milk is a Southeast Asian enhancement to the Chinese original. Please also check out my Sweet Red Bean Soup recipe.

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup (220g) mung beans, rinsed and soaked for at least 2 hours, drained
  • ΒΎ cup (135g) brown sugar**
  • 6 cups (1.5liters) water
  • 2 pandan leaves, rinsed and knotted
  • Β½ cup (40g) sago or tapioca pearls, soaked for 10 minutes, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (240ml) coconut milk
  1. In a large pot, combine mung beans, brown sugar, water, and pandan leaves. Bring to a boil, recude heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until mung bean splits open. Add sago pearls and coconut milk. Simmer for another 8 minutes or until sago pearls turn translucent. Add a little water if soup gets too thick.
  2. Serve warm or chilled.
**Please adjust sweetness according to taste.

I like my Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup warm but it is also delicious chilled.

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎

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  1. says

    Never tried a sweet soup before… I like the sound of green beans, so will give this a go too.. sounds really interesting! I love sago…In India we have it cooked with potatoes and peanuts as savoury and with milk and sugar for a dessert. I’ll have to give this soup a go.


    • Biren says

      Both the red bean and mung bean soups are delicious. Red beans are considered warming while green beans are cooling and usually eaten when it is hot outside. :)

  2. says


    I’ve never had soup like this. It looks so good! I’d never heard of Sago too, thanks for the education:-). Your photo came out beautifully!


    • Biren says

      Sago pearls are similar to tapioca pearls and can be used interchangeably although they are made from different starches. Sago is extracted from the sago palm.

  3. Jeannie says

    This is another sweet soup that reminds me of childhood days! Unfortunately my boys are not into this so I don’t get to eat this as often as I would like.

  4. says

    Didn’t know this is called mung bean soup :) We just call it green bean soup & hubby loves this. Have u tried adding rice in it? Some people add little grains of rice into this dessert.

    • Biren says

      Some ingredients are named differently here. I used to call it green beans too. :)

      No, I have never tried addig rice to it. I imagine it must be like a porridge.

  5. says

    Hi Biren :)

    Green bean soup is hubby’s favourite Asian sweet soup/porridge. He loves it with santan, but I prefer it plain, scented with lots of pandan of course! The texture of your beans looks absolutely perfect. I would love a chilled bowl right now – it’s a sweltering afternoon *phew*

    • Biren says

      Hi Denise! So good of you to visit. I missed you and I hope you are doing well. :)

      The weather here continues to be unpredictable. Spring was cold and this summer has been exceptionally rainy. I needed something familiar and this dessert came to mind. This is my mom’s concoction with coconut milk and sago and I love it. Boys are not too keen on tong sui but I’m making it for me. Oh, I can imagine the sweltering tropical heat. Just thinking of it makes me perspire. Definitely a chilled version is preferred over there.

  6. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever made/eaten a soup with mung beans, but this sounds absolutely delicious! Definitely the perfect thing for a hot summer day =)

  7. says

    This is one of my favs sweet soup and I always cook this at home if the weather gets too humid or when my hubby or girls had too much heaty food. I don’t add coconut milk but will add some sweet potatoes sometimes if I can get nice ones from the wet market :)
    Hey Biren, I think we’re somehow quite alike when it comes to food! I love my mung bean soup hot when just cooked and chilled when the whole pot had cooled down! πŸ˜€

  8. says

    I love mung bean and know I would love this soup! I had something once I believe was similar but it was awhile back and I never tried to recreate it, but this I must :)

  9. says

    Such an innovative dessert! I have never had sweet soup like this! It sounds delicious and healthy! Thanks for sharing it Biren! :-)

  10. says

    Biren, I haven’t had this in a while because I’m waiting for my mum to make it! Can you believe after years of eating this lovely dessert, I have yet to cook it myself? I like it with both pandan and santan flavors, and I like to eat it cold ;-). Gotta call my mum….

  11. says

    So interesting! Looking at it, I have a hard time imagining that it’s sweet. So different from anything I’ve ever tried – very intriguing. :-)4hd7

    • Biren says

      This is my goto dessert when I need something sweet and warm. It is especially good with the coconut milk and sago. The coconut milk is actually optional but I much prefer to add it in.

  12. says

    I love mung bean but I haven’t tried it sweet. Though we have a sweet version too but I don’t know why i haven’t tried it so far.
    Im sure I will like this kind too.


    • Biren says

      Gula Melaka usually comes in solid cylinders but unfortunately it is hard to tell if it is not labeled. Any palm sugar or brown sugar would work for this recipe.

    • Biren says

      I am afraid there is no substitute for pandan in this particular recipe. You can certainly omit it totally and it will still taste good though not as fragrant.

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